Today Apple held a live event called “Spring Forward”, where they unveiled some new MacBooks, renewed some pricing on certain products, and announced when the Apple Watch will be available for purchase! Below is a recap of the new releases!
Apple Introduces ResearchKit
If you don’t know what these Apple ‘kits’ are, they are a software development kit which contains a set of tools that allows developers to create a set of apps.
ResearchKit, is an open source framework designed for medical and health research, helping doctors and scientists gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants using iPhone apps. It is just like the other ‘kits’ released by Apple during WWDC 2014. It is also in addition to the ‘Health Kit’ which is a “one-stop shop for all your fitness tracking devices”.
ResearchKit turns iPhone into a powerful tool for medical research. When granted permission by the user, apps can access data from the Health app such as weight, blood pressure, glucose levels and asthma inhaler use, which are measured by third-party devices and apps.
HealthKit is a software framework Apple introduced with iOS 8 to provide developers the ability for health and fitness apps to communicate with each other. ResearchKit can also request from a user, access to the accelerometer, microphone, gyroscope and GPS sensors in iPhone to gain insight into a patient’s gait, motor impairment, fitness, speech and memory.
Apple Unveils ‘MacBook’
Also on the new product devices list for Apple is the MacBook. Yes, it’s straight up called MacBook! This MacBook “has been meticulously designed” (we can’t forget to include Apple marketing terms!) that weighs just 920 grams and is only 13.1mm thin, at its thickest point!
What’s new about the MacBook:
- 12-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2304 x 1440
- Apple-designed full-size keyboard that is 34% thinner than previous keyboards – I don’t know how that would feel! It would feel like you’re touch-typing!
- Force Touch trackpad – This new trackpad features built-in force sensors that allow you to click anywhere and haptic feedback that provides a responsive and uniform feel. You can even customise the feel of the trackpad by changing the amount of pressure needed to register each click. The Force Touch trackpad also enables a new gesture called Force Click, a click followed by a deeper press, for tasks like pulling up the definition of a word, quickly seeing a map or glancing at a preview of a file.
- One-port-on-entire-laptop: USB-C. It may seem weird at first to only have one port on a laptop which can do anything, from charging, outputting video on to an external screen or just for data transfer! Not to mention the price of the adapters from Apple will be way up there and you will now have to carry multiple adapters! However, since USB-C is not Apple proprietary, third-party adapters will soon come to the party!
- Battery design – Apple claim to have a new battery design that “maximises every millimeter of space to deliver all-day battery life.”
- Available in aluminium finishes: gold, silver and space grey.
What’s also cool is that there will be very minimal noise on this new MacBook with a fanless cooling system!
With no moving parts or vents, the new MacBook was designed from the ground up to be the first fanless Mac notebook for silent, efficient performance.
MacBook also features the new fifth-generation Intel Core M processor that runs at just 5 watts and Intel HD Graphics 5300.
The MacBook will begin shipping Friday 10th of April through the Apple online store, and will be priced from $1,999 (NZD).
Apple Updates the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display & MacBook Air
Apart from announcing the new MacBook, Apple also went ahead to update the current line of MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs.
The only updates to the current lineup of MacBooks was that the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display has the new Force Touch trackpad, fifth gen Intel Core processors and Intel Graphics 6100, and “longer battery life”.
The updates to the MacBook Air was that the 11 and 13-inches now both include fifth gen Intel Core processors as well as Intel HD Graphics 6000, and Thunderbolt 2.
For information on pricing, you can visit the Apple Online Store.
Apple Watch Will Not Be In NZ For A While…
No surprises there, but NZ are not one of the first 9 countries that will be able to buy the Apple Watch on April 24th. However, I am also not that excited considering that a lot more “better” smart watches have come out since the announcement of Apple Watch late last year, namely the Moto 360 and just recently, the Huawei Watch!
Another feature to put me (you) off is the price! NZ pricing is yet to be released so here are the US prices:
Apple Watch is available in three collections, Apple Watch Sport, priced at $349 (US) and $399 (US); Apple Watch, available from $549 (US) to $1,099 (US); and Apple Watch Edition, crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys, with prices starting at $10,000 (US).
Blimey! Crikey! That says it all!